For those curious, Slide 26 of the “Best PC games of 2017” feature (the rejiggering they use to stop Advent Calendar from destroying SEO) has an explanation of the methodology, which I’m copying and pasting here for discussion and easy access.
"This year’s list was compiled by collecting votes from Adam Smith, Alec Meer, Alice O’Connor, Brendan Caldwell, Graham Smith, John Walker, Katharine Byrne and Matt Cox.
In previous years we each compiled an unordered list of ten games to collate the advent calendar list. This year, each person was given ten points to spend as they pleased: if they wanted to give all ten to one game to make sure it featured, that was fine (no one did this); if they wanted to change their votes based on how the list was shaping up, perhaps to take them away from a safely included game and add them to something on the borderline, that was fine, too.
The idea behind this system was to reward more of the games that we truly loved. It encouraged people to focus on their true favourites rather than make the numbers up to ten just for the sake of it. And this way, a game that two people ‘just liked’ would not always trump a game that one person loved. If that love was strong enough, it could still get on the list. This system also works better at a time when there are more games than ever that only one person on the team has played, a reflection of both the increased number of games being released and the current team’s wonderfully diverse tastes.
These changes are probably partly responsible for the games on this year’s list surprising some readers. The larger part of that surprise was probably caused by Matt and Katharine, who joined the team late in the year and therefore hadn’t already made their tastes known.
The initially compiled long list included eight games that didn’t make it onto the final calendar. They were CrossCells, Everything, Heat Signature, Hellblade, Kingsway, Resident Evil 7, Rime and The Sexy Brutale. Each one of these games received one point; everything that was included in the calendar received two or more.
Edith Finch and Dead Cells received the same number of points overall. Dead Cells was chosen as game of the year after some discussion – though we can mathematically justify it by saying that more people felt strongly about Dead Cells, whereas the majority of Edith Finch’s points came from a single voter.
If you’re looking for more recommendations, we also published a list a few months ago of the best PC games ever. Only one game from 2017 made the list.
And that’s it for another year. Thanks to everyone who read along across the month of December. The Advent Calendar will return…"